How to Dress to Impress on a First Date without Looking Flashy

The old adage that first impressions matter is especially true when it comes to a first date. It’s basically an interview and particularly if you’ve met on an online dating service or a blind date, everything is going to make an impact. What you wear says a lot about you, so take some time to plan your outfit for the big day. Here’s how.

Consider the Venue

Probably the biggest factor in what you should wear on your date is going to be influenced by where you’re going. Just like you wouldn’t wear a dinner suit to the beach, you wouldn’t wear shorts and a t-shirt to a Michelin starred restaurant. If it’s a first date, you’ll probably have opted for something more casual, so your clothing should reflect it. Dress down, but not sloppy because looking sloppy could come off like you haven’t put much effort into dressing, and that could come off like that’s your opinion of how you feel about the date. A nice pair of dark-wash jeans paired with a short sleeve collar shirt (tucked in) will work, with a matching belt and leather shoes to round it off.

A restaurant might warrant adding a jacket depending on the setting, but don’t overdo it. If you do wear a jacket, it can be useful to hand over if your date is cold, just like a romantic movie. If you’re not sure on what you should wear, booking tickets to the theatre or somewhere with a generally understood or prescribed dress code could be a useful idea. Even if you decide to have a drink afterwards, you’ll look at home in an upmarket cocktail bar by simply removing your tie.

The Importance of Shoes

Clothing is very important and it’s a direct reflection on your style and self-confidence. No matter what you wear though, shoes hold a significance of their own. Studies on the subject have concluded that shoes can say quite a lot about you and can reveal more than you think about your personality – things like your age and what your income is as well as subtle clues about your personality. Wearing good quality, appropriate and clean footwear is a must, because your date will take note. The difference in perception between lace-up dress shoes and slip ones is a big one.

Your Scent Matters

It’s a common mistake to slap on too much cologne or body spray and end up with too strong a scent. The secret to smelling great is to make sure your clothes are freshly laundered and pressed, a good quality anti-perspirant, and a good quality cologne applied very conservatively. A good rule of thumb is that if you are in a car with your date with the windows up and air conditioning off, your date should just be able to detect the scent of your cologne.

Accessorise but Don’t Overdo It

Accessories can make a statement when done right. Adorning yourself in flashy cufflinks and tie pins with an expensive watch on your wrist might seem like a good idea, but it can also come off like you’re trying too hard to appear wealthy. Often a great watch is all you need to properly accessorise your outfit, particularly if you’re dressing more casually. CHRONEXT, an online watch retailer with a passion for good quality timepieces sells new and pre-owned watches and offers free delivery and a 14-day return policy. CHRONEXT recommends the Rolex explorer as the perfect wrist companion.

Try and limit the wearing of hats, as they are quite difficult to pull off at the best of times. If your date is outside, you might consider a baseball cap or something casual, but don’t try and pair your jacket with a fedora or trilby. Bracelets and necklaces are similarly polarising and should, unless they’re quite understated, be left at home.

Top It Off with a Fresh Haircut

While long and untidy hair might not be ideal, don’t try anything new just before your first date. Get the same haircut you usually do from your same barber a few days before the date. Don’t do anything drastic like hair dye or a ton of product – try and keep your hair much the same as it was when he or she agreed to go out on the date with you in the first place. While you’re at it, don’t forget to generally groom yourself. That means cleaning and cutting your fingernails, trimming nose hair and ear hair and just neatening yourself up in general. If she gets close to you, she’s going to notice all these small things.

Looking good is half the battle. Dress sharply, smell good and offer up good and engaging conversation and that second date is as good as sealed. The perfect gentleman is also not going to forget to pull out your date’s chair at dinner, open the doors and pick up the tab for extra chivalry points.